New grant scheme for small rural businesses in Torridge and North Devon

A new grant scheme to help small businesses grow is being launched in South Molton on Monday. North Devon MP Nick Harvey will perform the official opening of the scheme, run by Leader 4 Torridge and North Devon. . Representatives of three local b

A new grant scheme to help small businesses grow is being launched in South Molton on Monday.

North Devon MP Nick Harvey will perform the official opening of the scheme, run by Leader 4 Torridge and North Devon.

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Representatives of three local businesses which received grant support from a previous programme will be present at the launch in Amory House.


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. Speakers from The Organic Mechanic in Frithelstock, Who's Glass in Bideford and The Mill Adventure Centre in South Molton will explain what a small grant meant to their business, what difference it made and how it helped them to improve and grow to the successful enterprises they are today.

One of them, Yvonne Garman of The Organic Mechanic at Frithelstock, said: "Four years ago the funding we received from Leader+ enabled us to expand our business to include a car body repair shop to complement our mechanical repair workshop. Our business has since gone from strength to strength."

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The grant scheme is designed to meet the Leader 4 Torridge and North Devon objective "to raise and support growth aspirations of rural micro businesses" and will provide small grants for activity that improves productivity and supports sustainable growth.

The grant scheme, with funding from Europe and Defra can help provide between �1,000 and �7,500, to cover up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs. To qualify for the scheme, the business must be within the Leader 4 area and have:

* Fewer than 10 full-time equivalent employees;

* A business trading address in the rural parishes of Torridge and North Devon;

* Been trading for at least 12 months; and

* Have an annual turnover of less than �1.7 million.

- under 10 full-time equivalent employees

- a business trading address in the Leader 4 area (rural parishes of Torridge and North Devon)

- been trading for at least 12 months

- an annual turnover of less that �1.7million.

Leader 4 is a new programme with a �3.8 million grant from the Rural Development Programme for England, to provide project funding and development support to improve the economy, environment and quality of life in rural areas

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